KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Weekend festival in western Iowa celebrates aronia berry

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A festival dedicated to a type of berry many Americans haven’t heard of is taking place this weekend in western Iowa. Saw Mill Hollow in Missouri Valley is believed to have the largest aronia berry crop in the country. Andrew Pittz says his father, Vaughn, first heard about aronia berries being used in a juice drink.  “We looked into it and it was a native North American plant that no one was growing,” Pittz said. “So, we took it upon ourselves to plant the first 207 cultivated aronia berry plants in the United States.” That was 1995. Today, the Pittz family manages 25 acres of aronia berries. The dark colored berry has long been popular in Russia and Poland. Pittz says sales are picking up in the U.S. among those searching for healthier food products.

He notes studies have shown the aronia berry contains two to four times the antioxidants of a blueberry. “And the blueberry is kind of the go to super fruit,” Pittz said. Aronia berries have a unique tart taste, lacking the sweetness of grapes and blueberries. Pittz admits aronia berries probably aren’t best in the raw.  “It might not be as good – eating it fresh – as a grape, blueberry or raspberry. But, because of its profile, it makes a great wine and it bakes really well. There are all kinds of things you can do with it,” Pittz said. The 4th Annual North American Aronia Berry Festival is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both today (Saturday) and Sunday.

learn more about the event at: www.sawmillhollow.com.

(Radio Iowa)

Pumpkin found growing in Iowa tree

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa couple have discovered an eerie presence in their pear tree, just in time for the approaching Halloween season. Phil and JaNelle Lovely, of Greenfield, recently discovered a pumpkin growing in the tree. The couple say they have no idea how the pumpkin ended up in their tree, but it appears to be the work of Mother Nature. A nearby garden vine climbed the tree, giving the now-green pumpkin the appearance of having sprouted from one the tree’s branches. JaNelle says people have been stopping by to see the suspended pumpkin since it was discovered on Labor Day. She’s hoping it remains in the tree until it turns orange.

Survey suggests slow growth in Midwest, Plains

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states continues to slow, but the region is helped by  strong farm income. The overall Rural Mainstreet index for the region improved to 52.2 in September from last month’s 49.3, suggesting weak economic growth. Anytime that index, which ranges from 0 to 100, is above 50, it suggests the economy will grow. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says this month’s results don’t suggest a recession but the numbers have deteriorated. Bankers in rural parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are surveyed.

Gov. Terry Branstad signs proclamation allowing overweight loads for harvest season

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) -  Gov. Terry E. Branstad today will sign a proclamation to allow the transportation of overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw and stover. The proclamation takes effect September, 15, 2011, and expires after 60 days. “Many Iowans’ livelihoods depend on a smooth, efficient harvest season,” said Branstad. “I am pleased sign this proclamation, which will allow the movement of Iowa’s commodities and help Iowa farmers during harvest.”

The proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code section 321.463 paragraph “5.b”, by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%), do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.   

The action is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw, and stover to be overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation. The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of the proclamation, to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved.

USDA Report 09-15-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 15th, 2011 by Chris Parks

Max Dirks at the Cass County FSA office.

Play

Iowa cropland values up nearly 13-percent over the past 6 months

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A recently released survey of Iowa land trends and values shows a statewide increase in cropland values of nearly 13-percent over the past six-months. The survey by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter number Two of the Realtors Land Institute, shows a 12.9-percent increase in cropland values from March 2011 through September 1st. The estimates are for bare, unimproved land, with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were requested from participants in the survey, as supplemental information.

In southwest Iowa, the value of High Quality Crop Land increased $643 per acre over the past six-months, to $7,555. Medium Quality Crop Land increased $531, to $5,837 per acre. Even Low Quality Crop Land increased more than $315 per acre, to $4,116. Non-tillable Pasture was valued at $2,328 per acre, which was a loss of $8. And, Timber acreage gained $17, with a value of $1,678 per acre. On average, land values were up 9.3-percent.

In western central Iowa, High Quality Crop land was valued at $9,085 per acre, which is an increase of nearly $1,050 over the past six-months. Medium Quality Crop Land was valued at $7,275, which was a slightly more than $850 increase. Low Quality Crop Land in West Central Iowa saw the least amount of increase per acre, at $316, averaging out to $5,260. Non-tillable Pasture fared better in the valuation in the West Central part of the state as compared to the southwest, by increasing just over $320 per acre, while Timber acreage increased modestly as well, to $2,160 per acre. On average, the West Central part of the state realized a 12-percent gain in tillable cropland values from March through September.

All nine crop reporting districts in the state showed an increase in land values, ranging from 8.5-percent in Southeast Iowa, to as much as 17-percent in northeast Iowa, from March 2011 to September, 2011. The Realtors Land Institute said factors contributing to the increase in farmland values included strong commodity prices, favorable long-term interest rates, and a limited amount of land being offered for sale. For more information, log on to www.rlifarmandranch.com.

Cass County Extension Report 09-14-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 14th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

Play

Iowa deer seasons open this week

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

September 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

CHARITON, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s first two deer hunting seasons open Saturday and allow participants to hunt deer in a comfortable setting. The seasons are for youth and disabled hunters. Tom Litchfield is a state deer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He says the seasons allow young and disabled hunters to hunt deer in favorable conditions, compared to the December shotgun seasons. Each youth hunter must be accompanied by an adult mentor who has a valid hunting license and has paid the habitat fee. The youth and disabled hunter seasons close Oct. 2.

Potential killing freeze to affect Iowa crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Weather and crop experts are expressing cautious optimism that Iowa’s corn, soybean and hay crops won’t be greatly affected by the frost predicted for north-central and northwest Iowa Thursday morning. The U-S-D-A estimates about one-third of Iowa’s corn crop is fully mature and most areas need another 10-days to reach that level. That’s why Iowa State University corn specialist Roger Elmore doesn’t believe freezing temperatures will greatly affect yields. “What that’ll do is shut the plant down and it will result in some reduction in yield, maybe at the most three to five percent,” Elmore said. “That yield reduction is coming from those kernels being shortchanged the last few days…so it’ll be a reduction in kernel weight.” Iowa State University Climatologist Elwyn Taylor says cloudiness in the approaching cold air could mitigate the frost damage.

“If it’s a perfectly clear sky, then we will get at least (a partial) killing freeze,” Taylor said. “That means, maybe not whole fields, but spots when we go through Wednesday night. We don’t expect it to stay around long. It would just be that one night with the killing freeze, which is basically 28-degrees for corn and soybeans.” I-S-U forage specialist Steve Barnhart says grasses respond well to cool temperatures, so the badly-needed late fall hay crop should be fine.

“A standing alfalfa crop and grass hay crops will tolerate a light frost and really won’t stop their growth for the remainder of the season,” Barnhart said. “It takes a 23 or 24 degree overnight freeze to really stop the hay crop.” The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Watch for late Wednesday night through Thursday morning over north-central and northwest Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Neely-Kinyon Field Day Slated for September 21

Ag/Outdoor

September 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The ISU Neely-Kinyon Research Farm located south of Greenfield will be hosting a special field day on Wednesday, September 21. Activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. with wagon tours. Wagon stops will feature both pasture management and organic field crop and vegetable crop production. Featured presenters at the field stops will be Joe Sellers, ISU Extension Beef Specialist and Kathleen Delate, ISU Extension Organic Specialist. Sellers will discuss grazing management, selecting the right forage for your system and stockpiling grazing to reduce feed costs. Delate will share results of her 13 years of research at the farm on organic production. She will highlight both her work with traditional agronomic crops of corn, soybeans, and alfalfa and organic vegetable production.

Following the wagon tours there will be a weed ID contest, corn and soybean skill-a-thons, and displays at the building site along with a complimentary supper featuring pork prepared by the Adair County Pork Producers.

Field day goers also will have the chance to select one of two workshops to attend at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Ajay Nair, ISU Horticulture Department, will present information on improving soil biology. Diane Weiland of Wallace Centers of Iowa will do a workshop on Growing and Marketing Vegetables.

The field day is free and supported by the USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. The N-K Farm is located 2 miles south of Greenfield on Hwy 25, ½ mile East on 260th Street and ½ mile North on Norfolk Ave. For more information, contact the Adair County Extension office at 641-743-8412 or 1-800-ISUE399.